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To remain competitive and meet business goals, organizations must continue to re-examine their processes and identify areas of improvement. This continuous examination process helps companies identify new opportunities to gain efficiency, particularly in their big data flow.

The Apache NiFi project easily integrates with Snowflake—allowing businesses to make crucial decisions faster, provide better customer service, and reduce costs through real-time insights. In this article, we will discuss how data engineers can efficiently build data pipelines using Apache NiFi’s integration with Snowflake and Airflow. The solution helps in minimizing error potential, ensuring successful and error-free big data processing.

What is Apache NiFi?

Apache NiFi is a real-time open-source data ingestion platform that manages data transfer between source and destination systems. Apache NiFi can extract, transform, and load data with processors in a GUI-based drag-and-drop interface.

Apache NiFi doesn’t require additional coding, just its existing processors. It was built on NiFi (Niagara Files) technology, initially pioneered by the NSA, and then donated to the Apache Software foundation. With the release of its latest version, I.e., 1.13, Apache NiFi offers an active release schedule and a thriving developer community. The technology can handle anything that is accessible via an HTTPS request.

It supports several protocols, including HTTPS, SFTP, and other messaging protocols; retrieve and store files; supports around 188 processors; and allows a user to create custom plugins to support a wide variety of data systems. Table 1 depicts Apache NiFi features and benefits

Highly Configurable Apache NiFi’s high configurability allows for modifying flows at runtime. This capability helps users achieve efficient throughput, low latency, and dynamic prioritization.
Web-based User Interface Apache NiFi provides an easy-to-use web-based user interface. Design, control, and monitor - all within the web UI without needing other resources.
Built-in Monitoring Apache NiFi provides a data provenance module to track and monitor data flows from beginning to end. Developers can create custom processors and reporting tasks according to their needs.
Support for Secure Protocols Apache NiFi also supports SSL, HTTPS, SSH, and other encryption protocols.
Flexible NiFi supports dozens of processors and allows users to create custom plugins that support a vast number of data systems.

What Do Airflow and Snowflake Bring to the Table?

While NiFi is great at ‘heavy lifting’ tasks, such as transforming and loading massive amounts of data, Apache Airflow excels at scheduling and monitoring tasks. Airflow lets you build data pipelines that automated workflows can manage.

Snowflake is a powerful hosted cloud platform that provides data warehouse and data lake capabilities. In addition, Snowflake includes analytics tools that facilitate collaboration, data engineering, security, and machine learning.

Combining these two tools with Apache NiFi lets you define automated processes that can move data back and forth between Snowflake and other systems. Once the data is funneled into Snowflake, it opens the scope for deep analysis. Further, Snowflake has connectors to business intelligence dashboards such as Tableau.

How Can an Airflow – NiFi – Snowflake Integration Benefit Your Business?

All three technologies - Airflow, NiFi, and Snowflake - are incredible tools. When you combine the three, a powerful business intelligence (BI) platform takes shape.

Some business benefits are immediately evident, including: